For many of us, the Lifedrive exists as both a work related instrument for finding information and an entertainment device for listening to MP3's and watching Movies. However, the latter usually means watching the movie or video without headphones, using the speakers. But listening to podcasts and music is usually a more private matter and is often accompanied by either headphones or external speakers via the headphone jack.
This latter use has grown over the past year and many people, including myself, tend to listen to podcasts and selected music items in the car via the headphone jack linked to either an fm transmitter or a cassette converter. However, if you look very closely at a lot of these add-ons, you will notice that the size of the adapters are actually a little larger than what the Palm is requesting. In other words, not all small headphone adapters are made the same. This is true for some 3rd party ipod adapters too, but the ipod, over the past 3 years, has almost developed its own standard. Thus it is becoming easier to get the adapter that you need for your palm Lifedrive, since the ipod's adapter works perfectly well with the Lifedrive and nearly all ipod headphone adapters conform to an ipod standard.
However, the use of an oversized adapter can lead to some problems later on. After about a year of use, the Lifedrive will surprise you one day by not playing any sound via the built in speakers. However, it will play if you insert an adapter into the headphone jack and distribute the sound to your car/headphone.
There appears to be an electrical short that I believe is probably caused by some of the larger headphone jacks. However, the cure for this problem is truly amazing!
First of all, there is no need to open the Lifedrive. What I have found is that by using an adapter, placed into the headphone jack and toggling it a little to the left or right, loosens the connection and restores the sound. Now this may not work for every situation, but it works almost all of the time. I have only had this happen to me twice and this solution appeared to correct the problem almost immediately.
A few pointers on preventing the problem:
1. Try to use ipod approved headphones or accessories for the headphone jack.
2. Sennheiser makes one of the best headphones and their convertible jacks fit perfectly.
3. If you find that you are having to push the jack into the Lifedrive excessively, then you probably have the wrong size.
4. If the toggle example does not work, then you may try placing an ipod approved headphone jack half way into the jack and "push" the jack a little to one side. This works also, but you must be very careful not to break the device. See picture below.
This is a little MacGyverish, but it seems to work. I will try to put some more tips on preserving your device as more problems arise. Your feedback on this, as always, is greatly appreciated.
Hope this helps.....LDD.